There is the rare occasion in which a single player can win or lose a game. It does not happen often, especially in football, but it can and has in the past. That was not the case on Saturday and neither sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel nor redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed deserves to shoulder the blame for the Florida Gators’ hard-fought but sloppy loss to the Georgia Bulldogs.
Driskel had a hellacious game.
After fumbling on the opening play but recovering it, he coughed the ball up two snaps later. Driskel fumbled a second time later in the game and also threw two interceptions including one into the end zone to end the first half. Throwing the ball away would likely have resulted in a Florida field goal and 9-7 halftime lead instead of a 7-6 deficit.
He also made some plays.
Driskel completed 54 percent of his passes for 185 yards, converted a number of third downs with his arm and even had a stellar 20-yard run off of a zone read late in the game. Yet through his failures and successes on Saturday, he was not on the field alone and at times had little help from teammates his teammates both up front and out wide.
“We got to play better around him,” said head coach Will Muschamp after the game, diverting the blame away from Driskel. “We got to protect better. We got to create vertical plays. We got to find ways to run the ball. You can’t put everything on Jeff Driskel.
“You got to be able to run the ball. You got to be able to create vertical plays and stretch people out and not let people load the box. Again, that’s something that we’ve been able to overcome for the most part throughout the way we’ve played when we take care of the ball and we play field position and we don’t put ourselves at risk in some situations. We did tonight. We didn’t play the way we’ve been playing as far as the field position and the turnovers. The formula we’ve needed to have happen against good football teams we’ve done to this point, and we didn’t today.”
Read the rest of this story…after the break!
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